PreSonuSphere Audio Conference Delights and Informs
November 20, 2011
More than 200 audio engineers, technically minded musicians, and media from three continents gathered on November 19 at the beautiful Shaw Center for the Arts in historic downtown Baton Rouge for PreSonuSphere, PreSonus’ first-ever user conference. Created in response to user demand, PreSonuSphere featured in-depth seminars about PreSonus’ award-winning StudioLive™-series digital mixers and Studio One™ audio recording and production software. PreSonuSphere drew attendees from all over the United States and from as far away as Brazil, France, and Germany, as well as a large contingent from PreSonus’ home state of Louisiana. Admission to this unprecedented event was a mere $25 and included full access to the conference, a Cajun dinner, meal discounts at local restaurants, technical literature, and more.
The event kicked off on Friday evening, November 18, with a huge party at the Shaw Center that featured show-stopping performances by Lafayette, Louisiana, family band L’Angelus and Baton Rouge’s own Phat Hat, followed by a jam session that included Louisiana’s LeRoux guitarist and PreSonus founder and president Jim Odom. Fueled by the PreSonus staff’s traditional home-style Louisiana jambalaya, partygoers danced, sang along, networked with each other, and talked excitedly about the upcoming conference.
The next morning, attendees lined up well before the conference’s 7:45 a.m. opening time, awaiting the day’s first seminars. After a special panel discussion featuring top PreSonus engineers and executives (including CEO Jim Mack and founder/president Jim Odom), live-sound engineering legend Ace Baker (Sammy Hagar, Chickenfoot, Paul Gilbert, Tower of Power, Sheila E) opened the day’s seminars with a discussion of live-mixing techniques, with the superb L’Angelus returning as the demo band, to the delight of all. Meanwhile veteran music-industry technology evangelist Byron Gaither kicked off the recording-software side of the conference with a presentation that informed and impressed even the most veteran recording engineers and musicians.
Other seminars throughout the day featured such luminaries as internationally recognized author, editor, performer, and audio engineer Craig Anderton (who invented the term “electronic musician”); renowned worship-team trainer Doug Gould; veteran journalist and engineer Mike Rivers; and TV- and film-music producer and songwriter Rhett Mouton. Studio One lead developers Wolfgang Kundrus and Matthias Juwan of Hamburg, Germany, were available for questions and customer feedback throughout the day.
The excitement among conference attendees never flagged, as they learned creative mixing and recording techniques, exchanged tips and ideas, greeted old friends, and made new ones. Between seminars, they strolled the downtown Baton Rouge riverfront area and enjoyed the local restaurants and coffee shops. “The attendance at PreSonuSphere exceeded our expectations” notes PreSonus CEO Jim Mack. “I would have been pleased had this been our third PreSonuSphere; for a first time out, I’m extremely impressed. The enthusiasm was gratifying, we got a lot of compliments about downtown Baton Rouge, and the Shaw Center for the Arts and PreSonus staffs did a fantastic job!”
PreSonuSphere closed shortly after 6 p.m., following a lively panel discussion that included a mixture of the day’s presenters and leading PreSonus executives and engineers. Plans are in the works for an even bigger and better PreSonuSphere conference in 2012.